One of the main pillars of the IgniteTU platform last year was to no longer require student organizations to attend weekly General Assembly meetings, a requirement for each club to receive university funding.
The administration intended to take a load off student organization leaders and engage the student body in a less mandatory, intentional way. It was a valiant attempt, but it didn’t work.
Instead, this administration destroyed almost all interaction between students and their representatives. Now, students might only hear about how TSG leaders are advocating for them through inconsistent, unprofessional newsletters.
Town hall meetings, which have disappointing turnout and are not mandatory, are half-assed attempts to inform students. Why would students attend with no incentive? Why should they care?
Serving on TSG is a privilege, and we’re discouraged to see its members begging students to apply to be on staff in its newsletter. In one newsletter, TSG advertised the director of campus safety position with “It’ll be fun,” and “The Director of Campus Safety will receive their own special chair and probably new friends.” This sounds more like a frivolous club than a group of future leaders.
We recognize this administration inherited many internal problems, like the two relatively new branches it spent last semester trying to fix. But in the meantime, it lost any influence and name recognition it once had.
We do not believe General Assembly meetings should return. Rather, we believe our student leadership is in a unique position to leverage its $144,500 in funds for student organizations to make sure they are informed and our student leaders are working in all of our best interests. That position should not be wasted on a poorly done newsletter and underwhelming town hall meetings.
The current state of TSG is a shame to past administrations, like Activate TU, which introduced initiatives with impact, like the Peer Mentorship program, a student-wide stadium survey and Sexual Assault Prevention Week. It feels to us that all of the work to improve the student experience is stagnant, with the current administration sticking to the status quo.
We hope to see TSG fulfill its more than 15 platform points in Spring 2019 because we believe our peers can be great leaders. But for now, we’ll wait for TSG to prove it is more than just a newsletter administration.